Release Date(s)1995 (September 23, 2014)
Studio(s)Miramax/Dimension (Anchor Bay/Scream Factory)
- Film/Program Grade: D+
- Video Grade: B-
- Audio Grade: B+
- Extras Grade: A+
The events of Halloween 5 left a lot of questions, questions that the filmmakers had no idea how to answer. It was a good time to take a step back and reassess where Michael Myers should go next. Six years later, Moustapha Akkad (and his new studio partners, Bob and Harvey Weinstein) presented the muddled mess that is Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers.
Our story opens with Jamie Lloyd (recast with J.C. Brandy), a captive of a mysterious cult for the past six years, delivering a baby that’s quickly marked with the same symbol that was introduced to Michael’s wrist last time. Is the father Jamie’s Uncle Michael? The Man in Black? John Carpenter? We never find out and it doesn’t really matter because, with the help of a suddenly very sympathetic nurse, Jamie and son are soon on the run with Michael close behind.
Desperate for help in a torrential storm, Jamie calls the only working telephone in northern Illinois: a radio show doing a Halloween special about Haddonfield and Michael Myers. This catches the attention of Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence in his final turn as the good doctor) and Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd, earning his genre street cred), one of Laurie Strode’s young charges from 1978, now grown up into a Myers-obsessed conspiracy theorist. They’re too late to save Jamie but Tommy finds her baby and vows to keep him safe.
And because this plot isn’t overstuffed enough yet, a new family of Strodes has moved into the Myers house, including single mother Kara (Marianne Hagan) and her son Danny (Devin Gardner). Michael would seem to have a full plate, what with trying to get the baby back and all, but he takes time out of his busy schedule to menace the new generation of Strodes, despite the fact that they aren’t blood relatives. Eventually, this all works its way back to the Man in Black and that cult, although the details vary depending on which cut of the movie you watch (more on that in a sec).
In its theatrically released form, Halloween 6 is a desperately confused movie. It’s unclear from scene to scene (sometimes from minute to minute within the same scene) if Michael is supposed to be a mindless flunky carrying out the cult’s orders or if the cult worships Michael or what. The movie is considerably gorier than any of the previous entries, making it feel less like a Halloween movie and more like a generic horror flick. It’s a very unfocused work that lacks any real sense of urgency.
Of course, the excitement around this release revolves around the first official release of the legendary Producer’s Cut. This version is an improvement and fixes some of the problems of the theatrical version but it’d be a real stretch to call this a good movie. I will say that screenwriter Daniel Farrands made a noble attempt at cobbling together something like a cohesive mythology out of the disparate strands of the previous movies. But this structure was never meant to support an elaborate backstory. It’s kind of like trying to build a livable house out of Legos. I guess it’s technically possible but it’s never going to be very sturdy or comfortable. So while the ending of this version is more in keeping with the preceding 80 or so minutes, it’s still pretty ridiculous.
The Deluxe Edition version from the Anchor Factory presents the different cuts of the film on individual discs. Image on the theatrical version is brighter and seems to have encountered some DNR. I don’t know for certain but I’m guessing this isn’t substantially different from the previous Blu-ray release from Echo Bridge. The Producer’s Cut offers a more muted color palette with more grain detail than the theatrical version. Audio quality is solid on both versions, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 on the Producer’s Cut.
Most of the special features are found on the Producer’s Cut disc and there is quite a bountiful supply, starting with an informative audio commentary by screenwriter Farrands and composer Alan Howarth detailing the production’s many challenges and differences between the versions. Instead of a complete documentary, the disc offers an array of short interview featurettes ranging between 19 and 7 minutes with actresses Mariah O’Brien and J.C. Brandy, make-up effects artists John Carl Buechler and Brad Hardin, Michael Myers-portrayer George P. Wilbur, primary director of photography Billy Dickson, reshoots director of photography Thomas Callaway, production designer Bryan Ryman, producers Malek Akkad and Paul Freeman, and composer Howarth. These are all good but possibly the best one features somebody who wasn’t even in the movie: actress Danielle Harris explains why she didn’t return to the role of Jamie and it’s a classic infuriating perils-of-show-biz story.
On top of all this, you get a brief tribute to the late Donald Pleasence, a teaser trailer for a version of the movie titled Halloween 666: The Origin Of Michael Myers, archival interviews with Pleasence, Paul Rudd and Marianne Hagan, behind-the-scenes home video footage shot by Farrands, about 7 minutes of alternate and deleted scenes and the original Electronic Press Kit.
A lot of people might think that Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers doesn’t really deserve such an elaborate treatment on disc and in some ways, they’d be correct. But bad movies rarely happen by accident and often, what took place behind the scenes is more interesting than what ended up on screen. That’s certainly the case here. Anchor Bay and Scream Factory deserve congratulations for this disc and the contributing cast and crew members deserve our thanks for their candor. This is a great Blu-ray of a considerably less-than-great movie.
- Adam Jahnke
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